Martele Violin Bow Stroke

The martele bow stroke

Just wanted to share with you guys what I’ve learned about martele. I wasn’t planning on learning this yet, but it just happened. I am practicing all those great exercises that I saw in the video by Eddy Chen (see the post about my violin goals for this month for more info). One of the exercises in this video is playing martele. So I tried it and understood that I needed more info about this bow stroke.

So, this is what martele is about. Before playing the note, hold the bow against the string with pressure. And then as soon as you hear the sound of the note, release all pressure. Thus the note begins with a sharp biting sound, followed by a more quiet relaxed played note that rings clearly. Sometimes it’s compared to the shot of a gun. First you hear the big noise followed by almost silence.

How can this be achieved? As always, professorV is helping out. His explanation is great and simple. Here is his video.

Now I’m practicing this myself. I find it hard to produce a clean bite, not a scratchy one. And I’m not sure if the sound after the initial bite is soft and ringing enough. Anyway, here is my recording of my martele. I’ve been practicing this bow stroke for two weeks now a couple of minutes per day. And I would be glad to have some feedback so that I can know if this is the right way to do it or what I should change. :-)

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Hi, I'm an adult violin student, learning the violin independently. Learning the violin is a pleasure and a challenge at the same time. Feel free to explore this website to read more about my violin adventure. :-)

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